Solo exhibition by Greek filmmaker and visual artist Janis Rafa on view at Eye Filmmuseum

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Solo exhibition by Greek filmmaker and visual artist Janis Rafa on view at Eye Filmmuseum
Janis Rafa, Landscape Depressions, 2023. Film still, single-channel video with sound, 25 min. Courtesy the Artist; © Janis Rafa.



AMSTERDAM.- Eye Filmmuseum is presenting a solo exhibition by Greek artist and filmmaker Janis Rafa. Her evocative films and video installations focus on relations between humans and other creatures. The silent presence of non-humans such as dogs, horses and cows forms the leading force within Rafa’s work. Several works will premiere during the exhibition, including the short film Landscape Depressions (2023) and a new multi-screen video installation.

Janis Rafa’s practice forms a wordless ode to stray and domesticated dogs, roadkill, hunted prey, animals in factory farming and other victims of late- capitalist society. Her works blend fiction with the mundane, highlighting structures of power, domination and control. The locations she chooses lie on the urban fringes, post-industrial sites, abandoned buildings and decaying agricultural landscapes. Among the ruins of these worlds, she explores themes such as affection for the non-human body, interspecies relations and dealing with loss.

Rafa’s visual language is filmic and seductive. Yet her work is disquieting: it prompts the viewer to consider pressing questions, such as how humans relate to one another and to the world around them. Her latest works focus on the tension between care for and exploitation of animals and landscapes. The exhibition title – Janis Rafa – Feed me. Cheat me. Eat me. – encapsulates mankind’s capricious attitude towards nature, as well as the underlying sense of melancholia and whimsicalness that is evident throughout her oeuvre.

Sculptures and neon installations

Moving image forms the core of the exhibition, but Rafa is also creating sculptures and neon installations specially for Eye. Through poetic wordplay and the re-appropriation of industrial structures designed to restrain farm animals, these new works refer to playful sensuality and physical contact.

Programme

The exhibition Janis Rafa – Feed me. Cheat me. Eat me. is accompanied by a comprehensive programme. During three special events, Rafa will speak with Filipa Ramos (independent curator); Lisanne Wepler (curator of 17th-century Dutch painting, Rijksmuseum); Maarten Reesink (Animal- Human Studies, University of Amsterdam) and Marian Cousijn (co-curator of the exhibition), among others. She also selected a number of films that are important to her and are to be screened in Eye’s cinemas, such as works by Andrea Arnold, Giorgos Panousopoulos and Béla Tarr.

Biography

Janis Rafa (1984, Greece) studied at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam. She exhibited at the 59th Venice Biennale, at Centraal Museum (2018) in Utrecht and at opbo studio in Athens (2023). Her works are held in the collections of Eye Filmmuseum, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Centraal Museum and Fondazione In Between Art Film, among others. A solo exhibition at EMST Athens is in the works for 2024. Rafa and Eye have previously collaborated on a number of occasions. In 2015, her work was part of the exhibition Close-Up - A New Generation of Film and Video Artists in the Netherlands. In 2020, her short film Waiting for the Time to Pass was included in the online exhibition of the same name. And in 2020, Rafa's feature debut Kala azar played in Eye's cinemas after winning the KNF prize at IFFR and being selected for New Directors/New Films at MoMA, New York.

Eye Filmmuseum
Janis Rafa: Feed Me. Cheat Me. Eat Me.
October 14th, 2023 - January 7th, 2024










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